Hurricane preparedness week is May 6 through the 12th and since hurricane season starts on June 1, here are some things you can do now to be prepared and aware of the upcoming season. While nobody likes to plan for the worse being prepared can give you a sense of security and peace knowing everyone in the family knows what to do. Here are some tips from the National Weather Service on how to prepare your home, your family, your pets, and your neighborhood in case of a hurricane.
On average, about 12 tropical storms, six of which become hurricanes over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or the Gulf of Mexico developed during the hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30 each year. Most hurricane hazards include storm surge, which is the abnormal rise of seawater, and it can travel several miles inland along bays, rivers, and estuaries. Flooding from heavy rains can be possible and of course, winds, which can destroy buildings, homes, roofing material and other items left outside. Tornadoes can accompany a landfall tropical cyclone but it is rare. Dangerous ways can produce a tropical cyclone and waves can cause deadly rip currents, beach erosion, and damage to structures along the coastline. The two biggest issues usually include storm surge and storm tide, so let's talk about safety issues with these two situations.
Water goes where it wants to and it can breach levees, pound dams into rubble, and overtake seawalls. While it might seem impossible, there are things homeowners can do to minimize the impact of flooding. You can protect your home's foundation with sandbags. Place the sandbags not only around the foundation but also near in events or openings. Aluminum or glass flood panels around vents can also help.
Water will always travel to the lowest available point. Basements are usually the easiest and fastest places that flood and actually, basements were meant to flood in order to protect the rest of the house. If your neighborhood is prone to flooding of any type, it's important to elevate the furnace, water heater, and electrical panel. Seal basement walls with waterproof compounds and install backflow plugs and valves to prevent water from getting to the rest of the home. These devices can also stop toilets, baths, and seeks from becoming geysers of water. It's also important to know how to turn off the electricity and other utilities.
Consider Buying Flood Insurance.
Check with your homeowner's insurance policy. Most do not cover flooding. You may or may not be able to even get flood insurance if you are in a floodplain so check with your insurance company and find out about protecting your home in other ways than tangible.
This is where the water level rises during a storm due to the combination of storm surge and the astronomical tide.
If you receive an evacuation order because of a hurricane storm tide or storm surge, it's a good idea to get your most important belongings and get out sooner rather than later. Surges can even begin to rise a day before the actual storm hits, cutting off valuable escape routes. Don't risk it. It's simply not worth it.
The weather department will be monitoring the storm tides using four approaches for measuring the timing, magnitude, and duration of hurricane storm surge dynamics. They have real-time monitoring, rapid deployment gauges for temporary monitoring, and storm surge sensors. A storm tide sensor collects the water level and barometric pressure every 30 seconds for most sites. There are located on beaches with record wave height every two seconds. The sensors are strapped to bridge piers, power and light poles and other structures along the coastline. The data is able to study the surge flooding including wave height and visualize its interaction with coastal features.